Dixie State Has the Stuff to Win it All

Dixie State College head football coach Greg Croshaw is not one to let frustrations get him down. He keeps a bright outlook and knows that one of these days his team will roll thru 'all' of the opposition to an unbeaten season and the number-one ranking by the J.C. Grid-Wire and NJCAA. As usual the Rebels will be among preseason favorites to accomplish just that.

Croshaw has a blend of talent that might be the best he's ever had at the St. George, Utah campus.

"I think we'll have a pretty good club," said Croshaw, a master of understatement.

"We have more D1 prospects than we've ever had and I guess if that transcends to winning we should be pretty good."

Number one on the talent parade would be huge left tackle Scott Fisher, all 6-8, 315 pounds of him.  "Before he's done he could be the best offensive interior lineman I've ever coached," said Croshaw, "and we've had some good ones." Fisher had signed with BYU out of high school and is an NJCAA pre-season All-American heading into the season.

The right side of the line features another young man who seems to blot out the sun. Mark Taylor is 6-9 and tips the scales at 300 pounds.  "He was a basketball player in high school and didn't play varsity until he was a senior," continued Crowshaw.  "He started for us last year and he's a player."

Quarterback Danny Southwick (6-2, 210), is another who draws compliments from the venerable coach who sports a dazzling 195-52-1 record over the past 22 years as head man and 50-9 in the past five years.  "He's being recruited by big-time schools. 

Danny has a real strong arm and he's smart.  He has already served his mission and is 22 years old, so he has maturity."

Croshaw is also delighted with a pair of freshmen running backs who he feels will take the heat off the passing game.  The heralded J.T. Diederichs (6-1, 235, Ballard HS, Wash.), a non-qualifier who signed with Washington State, and Alphonso Cunningham (6-0, 195; Frostproof, Fla.) should be able to handle the ball-packing duties for the Rebels.

Throw in the likes of talented defensive ends Billy Ray Morris (6-4, 280) and Doug Morris (6-3, 270), NJCAA pre-season All-American linebacker Beau Manutai (6-3, 240) and pre-season NJCAA All-American tight end Walter Nickel (6-4, 230) and you can see why Croshaw allows himself just a modicum of optimism.

"We have a long rode to hoe," he said.  "People don't realize that three or four times a season we have to get on a bus and travel eight, ten up to 20 hours to our games. It makes it real tough to go unbeaten because at some point you just let down after traveling that far.  But, if we can stay healthy and survive the road, maybe this will be the year."

2004 Dixie State Schedule


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